Despite substantial evidence that women suffer from depression at twice the rate of men, the etiology for this difference remains unclear. Prior to puberty, the difference in depression is negligible; however, when adolescence begins, a precipitous rise in female depression occurs that persists across the lifespan. While no definitive biological change has been linked to this phenomenon, objectification theory (Frederickson & Roberts, 1997) can be used to gain insight into the social influences at play during that transitional period. This study of 269 undergraduate women from a northeastern university used structural equation modeling to propose a path leading from self-objectification to hopelessness depression. Building on the existing theoretical links between body shame and hopelessness, this study found evidence to support a strong empirical connection between these concepts. Hopelessness partially mediated the relationship between body shame and depression. The study also found that body shame fully mediated the relationship between self-objectification and depression. The role of appearance anxiety and thin-ideal internalization are also incorporated into the model and analyzed. The generalizability of the model and the implications for treatment are reviewed in the discussion.
|Commitee:||Bobel, Chris, Rhodes, Jean|
|School:||University of Massachusetts Boston|
|Department:||Clinical Psychology (PhD)|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Womens studies, Clinical psychology, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Body shame, Depression, Hopelessness, Objectification theory, Self-objectification|
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